I was one of those that only got to know David at the end of a life that was so tragically cut short. Like many others I still feel dazed by the suddenness of his loss.
Despite this brief acquaintance I got to know David well during the time we worked closely together. We shared our thoughts and feelings on many issues, primarily but not only work related. David was a great listener, but never in a purely passive way. He was more than willing to challenge, which I guess was one of the things that made him a good analyst, but more than that a good friend – since you always knew he was being completely straight with you.
He and I joked that we were each so glad that neither of us had to work for the other, but working together was very satisfying, and it’s difficult to believe that there will not be any more of it.
In saying all this, I find it hard to think about how difficult this must be for his family. Knowing that someone was well loved does little to ease the pain. For myself I will try to focus on what David gave me, and to remember him with gratitude.
We lost one of the most energetic, enthusiastic and positive members of the Gartner Research family.
David was based in Egham and was well-loved by Sales for his seemingly boundless knowledge of all things technology, business, and financial; and was highly respected by his Research colleagues for his expertise and thoughtful communications style. Remarkably, even the English loved this Scotsman…
David was at Gartner for scarcely 13 months, but he so instantly and fully engaged with all of us that he might as well have been here for decades. He was a leader at Gartner from day 1, not because we made him one, but because it was his nature to make an impact on everything and everyone he touched. This was how he lived. He was joyful, generous and compassionate at all times. He was impossibly geeky and had in depth knowledge on just about any topic you could name, no matter how arcane. In another person, this might have been rough going but David’s unfailing good humor and genuine, passionate interest in everything made it delightful. He was fiercely proud of being a Scotsman, to the point of asking to schedule a team offsite for January in Edinburgh – and being completely baffled as to why anyone would think that a bad idea. He allowed himself to be talked into a band called The David Mitchell Experience featuring David Mitchell, which, fortunately, only performed in the wee small hours at Gartner offsites. He was our standard bearer — when we talked about recruiting or development, we talked about finding/developing another David Mitchell. There won’t ever be another – David was a true original.
Research Director at Gartner and former Ovum analyst dies suddenly
By Simon Phipps | Computerworld UK | Published 08:46, 05 November 12
I was shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death of the distinguished industry analyst David Mitchell last Thursday.
Most recently at Managing Vice President at Gartner in the UK leading the team that provides research about the current and future shape of the business applications market, he had previously been a Fellow at Ovum Group following other senior research analysis roles at DataMonitor and Ovum.
His research analysis was built on industry experience at Oracle and Unisys as well as on his educational background in GIS – including anecdotes about riot control and a gentle geekiness that found every topic fascinating.
That breadth of insight and experience made conversations with him entertaining as well as educational, and like many others I’ve looked forward to meeting him at events around the world.
Christine Adams of Gartner said: “He was a leader at Gartner from day one, not because we made him one, but because it was his nature to make an impact on everything and everyone he touched. This was how he lived. He was joyful, generous and compassionate at all times.”
It’s hard to imagine his soft Scottish burr and insightful commentary being silenced. David was one of the smartest, kindest people I have had the pleasure of meeting in the technology industry and his untimely death is a loss to us all.